What is a TED Talk?
One of my favorite self-improvement routines is listening to TED Talks in the background while I go about my day. Sometimes, if the talk is compelling enough, I’ll pause my daily tasks to sit and listen to the entire talk. I’ll even end up taking notes in my bullet journal or commonplace notebook, whichever is closer. Luckily, the average video is under 20 minutes, so my day isn’t too derailed if I choose to do that. If you’re not familiar with TED Talks, here is the description from their About Page:
“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.”
In other words, they are talks given by experts on a variety of topics, designed to be brief and inspiring. If you’re a fan of podcasts, you’ll love TED Talks.
Below you can find five of my favorite TED Talks to listen to whenever I need a boost of inspiration.
All of the YouTube videos posted below are the property of TED and are being used according to their usage policy found here. This does not indicate an endorsement of Simply Kelsey Jo by TED.
TED Talks on Creativity and Life
1.) Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius
Transcripts can be found here.
This talk is a few years old but I still find myself rewatching the video whenever I’m feeling creatively blocked. I love what she has to say about creativity, genius, and inspiration. Her lesson about the history of the word genius is informative, hilarious, and uplifting.
2.) Anne Lamott: 12 Truths I’ve Learned from Life and Writing
This TED Talk goes back and forth between lessons learned as a writer and universal truths about life in general, all without taking itself too seriously. It’s both heartwarming and unexpectedly funny. The first truth on Anne Lamott’s list has an important disclaimer:
“All truth is a paradox, life is both a precious gift and so heartbreaking at the same time.” -Anne Lamott
3.) Marily Oppezzo: Want to be More Creative? Go for a Walk
If you ever have read about overcoming writer’s block, you probably have heard the advice, “Go for a walk.” This TED Talk takes the idea farther and gives scientific evidence about the benefits of walking. Marily Oppezzo gives five easy, actionable steps that you can use right away.
TED Talk on Time Management
4.) Laura Vanderkam: How to Gain Control of Your Free Time
I know many creative types who struggle with time management, especially when it comes to finding time for their passion projects. This video is also useful for those who need help prioritizing their day to day tasks in order to make the best use of their time. I especially love how Laura Vanderkam emphasizes how we all have the same amount of hours every week. This video is my go-to when I’m working on my bullet journal and feeling like there is too much scheduled in my bullet journal and also was the inspiration for why I make my weekly layouts on Fridays.
“Time is a choice.” -Laura Vanderkam
TED Talk on Frustration and Creativity
5.) Tim Harford: How Frustration Can Make Us More Creative
I purposely saved this video for last. If you’ve ever had a day where it seems like all of your plans are falling apart despite your best intentions, this TED Talk is for you. It’s all about embracing the mess and creating anyway. The first story that Tim Harford tells about the piano player alone makes this video worth listening to.
More Inspiring TED Talks
I hope you found some inspiration in these TED Talks. If so, you can find my personal playlist here on the Simply Kelsey Jo YouTube account, where I curate inspiring and informative videos. Subscribe here for updated content and eventually more videos from me on planning, journaling, creativity, and how those three things tie into self-care.
Do you have a favorite TED Talk? If so, please feel free to tell me about it or post a link in the comment section. I’m always on the hunt for more TED Talks to add to my playlist!